Leclerc admits ’not happy’ to be behind Sainz

"Now it’s my turn to react and win"


5 April 2024 - 08:50
Leclerc admits 'not happy' to

Charles Leclerc admits he needs to up his game in comparison with his teammate Carlos Sainz.

The highly-regarded Monegasque driver is in the ultra-awkward situation at present of being outperformed by the sister car - even though Melbourne winner Sainz has been ousted and is currently jobless for 2025.

Max Verstappen, however, doesn’t criticise Ferrari for choosing Leclerc over Sainz to be the incoming Lewis Hamilton’s teammate next year and beyond.

"Carlos now has to make the right choice about where he wants to go," Red Bull’s triple world champion is quoted by the Dutch publication Formule 1.

When asked about Ferrari choosing Leclerc over Sainz, he answered: "That seems like a reasonable decision to me.

"Charles has been working with the team for so long and has just signed a new contract."

But for Leclerc, task number 1 before tackling seven time world champion Hamilton next year is getting back on terms with Sainz, who won in Australia despite still recovering from recent emergency appendix surgery.

Ferrari has emerged with a more competitive car for 2024, but Leclerc admits: "I would be lying if I said I was happy.

"Victories are important," he is quoted by Corriere dello Sport, "but points at the end of each season are even more important.

"Carlos is doing an extraordinary job," Leclerc added at Suzuka. "Now it’s my turn to react and win, maybe already this race. I’m putting everything into making it possible.

"In Formula 1 you tend to forget everything quickly - to concentrate on the last race," he said. "But if I look at my last 8-9 races, I think I’ve driven at a very good level. Only on those occasions it wasn’t possible to win.

"It’s up to me to be ready when there is the possibility, and I wasn’t ready either in Singapore in 2023 or in Australia two weeks ago. But I keep pushing."

The bright side for Leclerc is that at least he’s in the fastest car other than a Red Bull.

"We have a stable and predictable machine," he said. "Then the updates will arrive and hopefully they will allow us to fight in a consistent manner."



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